Re: URGENT ACTION: Mass arrests taking place in Kashmir under Indian military siege

August 7, 2019

Ms. Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

Ms. Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

Mr. Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders

Mr. Fernand de Varennes, Special Rapporteur on minority issues

Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression

Clément Nyaletsossi VOULE, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association

Ms. Dubravka Šimonović, Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women

Prof. Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances

Mr. Fabian Salvioli, Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence

Re: URGENT ACTION: Mass arrests taking place in Kashmir under Indian military siege

As you are aware, Kashmir is under a state of siege by the Indian military, as India makes a series of unilateral moves to annex the disputed territory. We are receiving news from credible sources that mass arrests of Kashmiris are taking place. Our sources cannot be named for their safety, but have said: 

‘ yes more than 200 civill society and hr defenders have been arrested including hameeda nayeem, yasin khan, mubeen shah …. it seems mass arrests— will update’

In addition, international news media relying on their own sources have reported the deaths of at least six protestors at the hands of the Indian military. 

We urge you to take urgent action in accordance with your mandate. Kashmir has been in isolation for 72 hours now. The few reports that are being received speak of harsh curfew enforced by the Indian military, ATMs out of cash and supplies of food and essential medicines running low.

We will keep you updated as continue to get more information. 

The Kashmir Scholars Consultative and Action Network (KSCAN) is an interdisciplinary group of scholars from various countries and regions engaged in research on the region of Kashmir. Each of us has written about Kashmiri history, society, culture, and politics, and their relation to the protracted conflict; and we are particularly concerned about the present conditions of violence. Our research on the Kashmir conflict addresses its history, its consequences for the region and beyond, and its possible resolution. It has implications for an internationally mediated political solution and is of relevance to policy makers. Based on our long and active engagement with civil society groups in Indian-controlled Kashmir, we have undertaken to document and call attention to the situation on the ground since the Indian state’s violence against civilians has continued to escalate.

We can be contacted via email at kashmirscholars@yahoo.com. Updates and relevant information will be posted atkashmirscholars.wordpress.com and via Twitter @KashmirScholars.

Sincerely,

Kashmir Scholars Consultative and Action Network (KSCAN)

Dibyesh Anand, Professor of International Relations, University of Westminster

Mona Bhan, Associate Professor of Anthropology, DePauw University

Dr. Emma Brännlund, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations, University of the West of England (UWE Bristol)

Angana Chatterji, Feminist Scholar

Haley Duschinski, Associate Professor, Ohio University

Iffat Fatima, Filmmaker

Shrimoyee Nandini Ghosh, Lawyer and Legal researcher

Hafsa Kanjwal, Assistant Professor of History, Lafayette College

Nitasha Kaul, Associate Professor, University of Westminster, UK

Suvir Kaul, A M Rosenthal Professor, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania

Inshah Malik, Independent Researcher

Shubh Mathur, Independent Scholar

Deepti Misri, Associate Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder 

Omaid Nazir, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Goldie Osuri, Associate Professor, University of Warwick

Idrisa Pandit, Independent scholar

Saiba Varma, University of California, San Diego

Ather Zia, Assistant Professor, University of Northern Colorado